Beijing Grants Murdoch Extra Chinese Broadcast Rights

09 January 2003

Rupert Murdoch is slowly but surely fulfilling his longstanding ambition of broadcasting across China.

The media mogul’s Star TV network has been granted permission to expand its operations on the Chinese mainland beyond its current toehold in Guangdong province.

Star, say reports, will be allowed to broadcast Mandarin-language entertainment channel Xingkong Weishi to hotels rated three stars and above and to residential compounds housing foreigners.

The Chinese government’s decision to allow Murdoch to extend his mainland presence represents official acceptance of the programming specially made for the channel since it started broadcasting last March. News Corporation says it will pour over $100 million (€96.4m; £62.6m) into Xingkong Weishi over the next three to four years.

However, the channel’s penetration is a drop in the ocean by Chinese standards: one million viewers in Guangdong plus the newly added foreign communities and around 500,000 hotel rooms. In addition, Star recently forged a production deal with domestic operator Hunan Broadcasting Group [WAMN: 24-Dec-02].

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff